Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)

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Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released July 5, 1965[1]
Recorded February 24, March 4; March 20 - June 4 1965,
Western, Gold Star & Columbia Studios, California
Genre Rock, pop
Length 26:42
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys chronology
Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Beach Boys' Party!
The Beach Boys UK chronology
Pet Sounds
Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
Best of The Beach Boys
Singles from Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
  1. "Help Me, Rhonda"
    Released: April 5, 1965
  2. "California Girls"
    Released: July 12, 1965
Originally debuting on Today! as "Help Me, Ronda", "Help Me, Rhonda" was reworked for Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) featuring rearranged vocal harmonies and Carl and Brian Wilson performing a guitar and piano solo respectively.

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Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) is the ninth studio album by American rock band The Beach Boys, released on July 5, 1965 on Capitol. The release was their second in 1965. Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) peaked at number 2 in the US during a chart stay of 33 weeks. It reached number 4 in the UK in the summer of 1966. The album is noted for the Wall of Sound production and arrangements featured on the majority of the album's backing tracks, now regarded as benchmarks for Brian Wilson's growth as a songwriter-producer-arranger.

In the early 1980s, as part of Capitol Records' repackage series of their Beach Boys albums, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) was retitled California Girls and deleted two tracks: "Amusement Parks, USA" and "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man". The album was re-released in 1990s paired with The Beach Boys Today!; this package featured extensive liner notes and bonus tracks from that period. Until 2012, the album remained one of several early Beach Boys albums never mixed in true stereophonic sound.

Writing and recording[edit]

After a dramatic shift in songwriting style on Today!, leader Brian Wilson was reportedly questioned by Capitol Records to what his musical intentions were, urging him to make more "Beach Boys style music" for the next album.[citation needed]

While on the surface Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) appeared to be a return to the carefree themes of 1964's All Summer Long, Brian Wilson had produced carefully woven, intricate backing tracks beneath lighthearted vocals featured on such songs as "Amusement Parks USA", "Then I Kissed Her" and "Salt Lake City". These backing tracks were even more elaborately arranged than what was featured on the previous effort Today!. He also wrote and produced an instrumental featuring a lush string arrangement ("Summer Means New Love") and composed the all-familiar symphonic intro to their US #3 charting single "California Girls" (that intro being Brian's personal favorite of his entire songwriting career). In hindsight, it's clear that Wilson was developing his skills that would be fully realized on his signature effort Pet Sounds the following year.

The opening track, "The Girl from New York City" was a response to "The Boy from New York City", a hit by The Ad Libs earlier that year, and "Then I Kissed Her" was Brian's attempt to emulate the production style of Phil Spector. It reached number four hit in the UK in 1967 and was Al Jardine's first of two lead vocals on the album; the second being a re-recording of Today! track Help Me, Ronda which underwent a minor title revision to become "Help Me, Rhonda". Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it would rise on the Billboard Top 40 charts to become The Beach Boys' second US number #1 charting single. "Girl Don't Tell Me", a Beatles-inspired song, featured Carl's second lead vocal on a Beach Boys album. Aside from "California Girls", the other notable major stylistic progression on Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) was "Let Him Run Wild", a Burt Bacharach-inspired track. Identical to the production style achieved on "California Girls", it became the flip-side song to that single.

The tongue-in-cheek track "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man" was written as a not-too-subtle poke at the Wilsons' father Murry, who had been fired from his post as manager the previous year, though he did still occasionally show up to either support or criticize Brian in the studio.

Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) also includes Bruce Johnston's first appearance on a Beach Boys album. As Brian's stage replacement, he was not yet considered an "official" member, but Brian Wilson appreciated Johnston's skills enough to have him contribute vocally and instrumentally on the album. Bruce would often accompany the group on photo shoots, but he was prohibited from having those pictures published on album covers due to a preexisting contract with Columbia Records. Consequently, his face would not grace the jacket of a Beach Boys' album until he appeared on the back cover of Wild Honey in 1967. Along with Johnston, Al Jardine is also missing from the Summer Days cover photo depicting the group on a sailboat; he had to miss the shoot due to illness.[2]

One outtake from the album's sessions is known as "Sandy" or "Sherry She Needs Me",[3] and was written by Brian Wilson with Russ Titelman alongside "Guess I'm Dumb".[4] "Sherry She Needs Me" was later revisited by the Beach Boys during 1976 Love You sessions.[5] The composition remained dormant until 1998, when it was finally finished by Wilson as "She Says That She Needs Me" for his 1998 Imagination solo album. The Beach Boys' version of "Sherry She Needs Me" was later released in 2013 for the Made in California box set.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
Blender 4/5 stars[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars [8]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars [9]

Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) proved to be another gold-selling success for the Beach Boys in the US, where it hit number 2 behind The Rolling Stones's Out of Our Heads and the following year, the album would reach number 4 in the UK. The album's lead single, "Help Me, Rhonda", topped the US Billboard Hot 100.

Sales chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1965 US Billboard 200 Albums Chart 2[10]
1966 UK Top 40 Album Chart 4[11]
Year Single Chart Position
1965 "Help Me, Rhonda" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 1
1965 "California Girls" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 3

Live Performances[edit]

Nine of the twelve songs on the album have been performed by either The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson as a solo artist. "California Girls" and "Help Me, Rhonda" have become concert staple for both The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, while 'You're So Good to Me" has also been played at many Brian Wilson and Beach Boys tours including during the band 50th Anniversary Tour, as is the case with most Wilson sung songs Al Jardine often handled the lead when Wilson was not on tour with the band.[12]

"And Your Dream Comes True" and "Girl Don't Tell Me" have never been played live by The Beach Boys but have been performed on several Brian Wilson tours. Wilson sang lead on "Girl Don't Tell Me" during his tours in place of his brother Carl's original lead. "Girl Don't Tell Me" was also performed live by Al Jardine with his son Adam on lead vocals.[13]

"The Girl from New York City" was performed live by The Beach Boys several times on their 1991 tour. While "Salt Lake City" has often been performed live when the band performs in Utah. "Let Him Run Wild" was first performed live by the Mike Love led Beach Boys with backing member Scott Totten on lead vocals. The song was played several times during the bands 50th Anniversary Tour with Totten again on the lead.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Brian Wilson/Mike Love, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "The Girl from New York City"   Mike Love 1:54
2. "Amusement Parks U.S.A."   Love/Brian Wilson 2:29
3. "Then I Kissed Her" (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry) Al Jardine 2:15
4. "Salt Lake City"   Love/B. Wilson 2:00
5. "Girl Don't Tell Me" (B. Wilson) Carl Wilson 2:19
6. "Help Me, Rhonda"   Jardine 2:46
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "California Girls"   Love/B.Wilson 2:38
2. "Let Him Run Wild"   B. Wilson 2:20
3. "You're So Good to Me"   B. Wilson 2:14
4. "Summer Means New Love" (B. Wilson) instrumental 1:59
5. "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man" (B. Wilson) B. Wilson 2:17
6. "And Your Dream Comes True"   The Beach Boys 1:04


Sourced from Musician's Union AFM contract sheets and surviving session audio, documented by Craig Slowinski.[15][16]

The Beach Boys
Additional musicians and production staff


  1. ^ Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-818-4 p. 96
  2. ^ "Learn about The Beach Boys' 'Summer Days' album cover | Goldmine Magazine". 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  3. ^ Bacon, Keith Badman ; editor Tony (2004). The Beach Boys : the definitive diary of America's greatest band: on stage and in the studio (1. ed. ed.). San Francisco, Calif.: Backbeat. p. 86. ISBN 0879308184. 
  4. ^ "Russ Titelman 35th Anniversary Salute". Billboard: 44. June 1996. 
  5. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 9 (1965): The Alternate "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!)". AllMusic. 
  6. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) - The Beach Boys : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  7. ^ "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) - The Beach Boys Review,". Blender. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ The Virgin Encyclopedia Of Popular Music, Concise (4th Edition), Virgin Books (UK), 2002, ed. Larkin, Colin.
  9. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd Edition) Random House (US), 1992, ed. Anthony DeCurtis ISBN 0-679-73729-4
  10. ^ "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) - The Beach Boys: Awards". AllMusic. 
  11. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit. 
  12. ^ "The Beach Boys Tour Statistics". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Brian Wilson Tour Statistics". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Beach Boys Tour Statistics". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Craig Slowinski (2009). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)". Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  16. ^ Craig Slowinski (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!". Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  • Today! / Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) CD booklet notes, David Leaf, c.1990.
  • The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.